We study the effects of river discharge and Daisy Lake Dam operations on the abundance and migration ecology of salmonids in the Cheakamus River. From 2001 to 2018, we operated Rotary Screw Traps (RSTs) and Fyke nets to collect juvenile abundance data. We also implemented a novel adult abundance model combing electronic resistivity counter and PIT data to estimate adult Chum Salmon abundance using mark-recapture methods. We developed stock-recruitment relationships that inform management decisions and help to enhance salmon productivity in this heavily impacted watershed.
This project also utilized many consecutive years of radio-telemetry and groundwater monitoring to explore how discharge may be related to Chum salmon migration behaviour and spawning site selection. Ultimately, insights from this project will be used to inform management decisions that balance the needs of wild salmon with indigenous, recreational, and commercial interests in the Sea to Sky region.